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Gilding The Lily

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  39 reviews

A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies.

An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees London-based Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.

Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, has guiltily never liked her father’s women, but does her upmost to give
ebook, first, 300 pages
Published November 2016 by I_AM Self-Publishing
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Dash fan
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5☆ Exciting Psychological Thriller you won't want to miss!

Gilding the Lily is Justine John debut Novel and what a cracking one it is too!
A fantastic psychological thriller with a somewhat dark undertone.

Amelia and her husband Jack are on there way to Amelia' s Father's 75th Surprise Birthday Party!
Amelia and her father are finally getting their relationship back on track after interferences from his late wife.

Now he is happily in a relationship with Evelyn, Amelia is determined to not to let an
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling, dark, and menacing!

Gilding The Lily is a character-driven novel that delves into the complicated, entangled relationship between family members and reminds us just how deceiving appearances can often be.

The writing is taut and twisty. The characters are determined, troubled, and secretive. And the plot, told predominately from two perspectives, subtly unfolds all the personalities, motivations, and actions within it to create a tense, suspenseful, cautious tale.

Gilding The Lily, at i
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
Don’t you just love it when you read a book and it’s like nothing you would’ve expected but yet it’s almost exactly what you needed? That’s what happened for me here, this was an unusual psychological thriller, more emphasis on the psychological parts than the thrills, but it was still a captivating read and one that I raced through in a few hours.

This is told from several viewpoints, but the bulk is relayed via Amelia and Jack, a lovely couple and then there are a handful of chapters from some
Whispering Stories
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amelia’s relationship with her father Roger has always been a strained one, caused by her step mother Helen. Helen despised her, and stopped allowing her to visit them in New York. When Helen died the two managed to build bridges and become close again. So when her father announces that he was dating again, Amelia makes a conservative effort to be friendly, and get along with the new woman in her father’s life, Evelyn.

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Amelia and her husband Jack had even
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes books that are not as well-known/mainstream are the best ones! When I finished reading this book, I just stared at its lovely matt-finish cover and smiled, thinking, I enjoyed every single thing about this book and I’m so happy I had the chance to read it.

Do you ever start reading a book, and from as early as the prologue, you get that ‘reader feeling’, you read a sentence or paragraph and just get excited for the rest of the book, that happened here, on the second page of the prologue
Lynsey Summers
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on my blog

I loved the synopsis for this book and thought it sounded full of promising twists and turns.  I wasn't to be disappointed.  Although in a way the plot is a slow burn, it is still written with a pacey and intriguing edge.  Justine John has written a high society, suspense novel with characters who are well placed.  Set in both England and New York I enjoyed racing between the two with protagonist Amelia and husband Jack.  A couple,
Susan Hampson
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a brilliant opening to a book. Was I reading this right? Was the mourner at the graveside capable of such things as she was thinking about and who was in the grave that she had such disrespect for? My curiosity was instantly jolted I wanted to know more.

Amelia has a lovely relationship with her husband Jack, he adores her and dotes on her so much that Amelia just can't believe her luck at times. She just wishes that so many years hadn't been wasted on an estranged relationship with her dad
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
GILDING THE LILY by Justine John is a stunningly disturbing debut thriller, with twists and turns that you will never see coming. Amelia longs to feel close to her father and hopes that their trip to New York for his surprise birthday party will be the beginning of that. But things never seem to go to plan. Evelyn, her father's partner, is a complicated and jealous person who is determined to cut Amelia and her husband Jack, from his life. And as the story progresses we get to see the lengths th ...more
Donna Maguire

This was such a great story!  It was so well thought through and planned it was a really excellent read and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The book starts with such promise I was a bit concerned that it might not be able to carry it through the book, but I needn't have worried - it was very, very good!  

This is a cracking debut novel, full of suspense, great characters and a brilliant plot - 5 stars from me! It is an excellent psychological thriller.
Rhian Eleri
I genuinely enjoyed this little psychological thriller! It's the author's debut, and what a fab way to start. Great plot, and likeable characters. From page one, I knew I would like this story. It begins at a graveside, so you can't really go wrong! The scene is set, and the rest is history.
Amelia lives in London, her father who she worships, lives in New York. She's not a big fan of her father's partner Evelyn, but tries her hardest to get along with her. When Amelia learns of her father's il
“Gilding the Lily” is a domestic drama full of secrets, lies and plenty of arguments too. I had a couple of niggles, but in general found this to be enjoyable story with unexpected ending.

My full review:
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Suspense novel partly set in NEW YORK

Amelia’s father Roger is due to turn 75 and his current lady-friend, Evelyn, has arranged a surprise dinner party in the glittering and rather brash Russian Nightclub ‘Babushka’, located in the “faded and used up” resort of Coney Island (as Roger himself described the place). Amelia, based in Wimbledon UK is only too aware that this party is poorly thought through, the locale would be an anathema to her father, and, more to the point, he utterly dislikes surp
Nerdish Mum
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, read-2017
I could not put this book down. I enjoyed Justine's writing so much, it is so easy to get into and is really engaging.

The characters are all very relatable and realistic. I could vividly picture each character, even the ones who are only in the story for a short amount of time. I thought Amelia and Jack in particular were especially well rounded characters and their relationship felt very believable and was very sweet. Even though Evelyn was such a nasty character, I really enjoyed her and I th
Quiline Kakoty
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blurb - A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies.
An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.
Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s some
Jane Hunt
This is compelling domestic noir suspense with multi-faceted characters. An intense and intriguing plot ends with a dramatic twist, expected in this genre of suspense.

Amelia and Jack's are a loving couple, easy to empathise. Told mainly from their viewpoints, the story occasionally includes Evelyn is Roger's lover,'s viewpoint. She is a sinister figure, but not everything is straightforward. Is Amelia and Jack's view of events reliable?

The domestic setting's ordinariness contrasts perfectly wit
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-challenge
What a fun and twisty debut this is! From page 1 there is a sense of foreboding surrounding Evelyn. She comes across as cold and manipulative and I loved her as the villain! Hearing from different characters’ points of view helps to keep you on the edge of your seat, trying to piece together the clues. Jealousy, obsession, manipulation – everything a good domestic thriller needs! I’m excited to see what this author does next. Thank you to @lovebookstours and @justinejohn9648 for my copy in excha ...more
Sandra Olshaski
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This fast-paced debut novel, a psychological thriller, captured me from the introductory words and held my attention to the end. "She looked around her. It was a warm, bright day in September, but there was an unusual wind – a hurricane was forecast. There were many head-stones here, and a few statues. Of angels mainly. Different colours but somehow the same hue. A few trees lined the perimeter fence, some bare, some evergreen. Beyond them the city buzzed – it went on with its day and didn’t not ...more
Siobhan - she, her
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Within this book, you follow many points of views from different characters. At first I thought that it might make the book slightly confusing, but it didn't.
Feeling what each person was feeling throughout the book and during certain scenes made this book even more fascinating. There was one particular part in this book that brought tears to my eyes, and if you've read it, I'm sure you know what scene I'm talking about. 🥺
I felt a strong dislike for Evelyn throughout the entirety of this book. Sh
Ian Robinson
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel had me hooked from page one. There are a few twists and turns in the story which kept me interested. I definitely couldn't put it down until the end which was totally unexpected. It's a suspense novel which many people could relate to as it explores various issues of a common dysfunctional family - and let's face it - whose family isn't dysfunctional? I defintiely recommend it! ...more
Hannah May Book Reviews
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Title: Gilding the Lily
Author: Justine John
Pages: 300
Rating: 5/5

A huge thank you to Justine John and Love Books Group for letting me read and review this psychological read!

Amelia’s relationship with her father has had its ups and downs, the distance between them makes it hard to work on their issues, one being that Amelia has never liked the woman her father has dated. When she is invited to fly over to New York for a surprise party for her father, Emilia sees it as an opportunity to
Debbie Littley
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The prologue to this book is full of intrigue and implies that for the person at the graveside is responsible for the death. It leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered, Who’s funeral is it? Who is the person at graveside? And how did the death occur? So for anyone with an ounce of curiosity you have to keep reading!

The book is written with each chapter being told from different characters viewpoints, mainly Amelia and her husband Jack. The chapters are easily marked so no confusion sw
Michelle Whitham (curled_up_with_a_good_book)
When Amelia and her husband Jack fly off to New York to celebrate her Dad’s 75th birthday, Amelia promises to try hard with his partner Evelyn. Since her parent’s divorce when she was young she hasn’t always got on with his new partners. But although Evelyn seems fine at times, there’s just something about her….

When her Dad starts avoiding her calls, and then when she finally sees him and he looks unwell, her and Jack wonder if there could be more going on than meets the eye. With help from a DE
David Baird
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amelia and her father, Roger, were estranged for years due to a strained relationship with Helen, her step mother, but slowly after Helen dies the rift starts to repair. They may live miles apart but they talk a lot.

Roger’s current partner, Evelyn, plans a surprise party for him and invites Amelia and her husband over to join the festivities.

They soon butt heads.. Evelyn plans something that Is a bit over the top for Amelia’s tastes. Amelia is sure her father will hate it.. which he does.

The dif
Emma's Things to Read
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book full of sinister behaviour and twists. It is not always clear who the reader should be trusting.
Amelia and Roger’s relationship has always been distant which allows his partner Evelyn to drive an even bigger wedge between them. After a disastrous birthday celebration, Evelyn seems more intent than ever on keeping them apart. And while to the outside, her actions seem to be out of love and concern for his health, their family suspect she may have other motives.
Amelia and her husban
Jo Williams
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you to the author and Love Books Tours for the digital copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Amelia is a successful businesswoman and wife to Jack, a retired military man. Her life is fulfilling but she yearns for her father Roger’s approval and love. A cracked relationship isn’t so easy to mend when the Atlantic Ocean is between father and daughter. When her father’s latest companion invites Amelia and Jack to Roger’s birthday party, they agree to travel to New York with trep
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is based around lies, mystery and family dramas. The book starts off brilliantly with a prologue at a funeral that leaves you uncertain whose point of view it is and whose funeral they are at. It will make you intrigued enough to want to get into this story to find out what happens.

The book is very cleverly written with many twists and turns that all leads up to an exciting ending. I honestly did not work out what would happen at the end so it came as a shock me. The author did a great
Elizabeth Ducie
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, thrillers
Successful businesswoman Amelia and her former policeman husband, Jack, fly to New York for a surprise 75th birthday party for her father, Roger, organised by his partner, ageing socialite, Evelyn. The event does not go well and only serves to confirm the concerns Amelia has about the influence Evelyn has over Roger. The story, unfolding over the next two years, becomes increasingly dark and disturbing. Amelia and Jack are convinced Evelyn is slowly killing Roger, but will anyone believe them?

Sheila Howes
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
*Thanks to the author for the free copy in exchange for an honest review*

The book is mainly told from a dual perspective, that of Amelia, the daughter of Roger, and her husband, Jack, and their relationship with him and his partner, Evelyn. It begins with a trip to America to visit Roger and Evelyn. Evelyn comes across as being jealous of Amelia's relationship with her father, and at first Jack can see both sides. As the novel continues, they become suspicious of Evelyn, and think she's trying t
Claire (c.isfor.claire_reads)
This was a lovely easy to read domestic drama which moved along at quick pace with an easy to follow storyline. The story is told from three points of view, Amelia, Jack's and Evelyn's. These different narratives certainly add to the atmosphere, and as you read on the tension, mystery and suspense starts to build with each page.

Each chapter is fairly short which I loved, and they switch between the main characters. Amelia and Jack come across as a believable loving and supportive couple. Evelyn'
Oct 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A new author for us all today, Justine John makes her mark in the writing world with Gilding the Lily.

I liked that the story started with us already guessing who was talking and who the were talking about. I also like that each chapter is written from one of the characters point of view, usually Amelia or Jack’s – I loved their characters and interaction.

The plot is nice a juicy, what they call a slow burner and at times I was impatient with wanting to know what was going to happen.

Evelyn intrig
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Justine John became a full time writer in her late forties, after a successfully running various businesses in London. Her first novel, Gilding The Lily, is a domestic noir suspense story. Animal lover Justine lives in the beautiful Surrey Hills with her husband, rides her two horses and walks her Dalmatians daily. Follow her on Twitter @justinecjohn.

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